Chelsea have confirmed that Bruce Buck will step down as chairman at the end of the month, after 19 years in the role.
The new comes just three weeks into the ownership of Todd Boehly, who replaced Roman Abramovich after a long-running saga in which the Russian oligarch was sanctioned by the UK Government due to his close ties with the country’s president Vladimir Putin.
The government had urged the Blues to ditch long-standing links to Abramovich, and Buck was appointed as chairman towards the start of the Russian’s ownership of the club, In a statement on Chelsea’s official website, he said: ‘I am proud to have helped Chelsea realize great success on the pitch and make a positive impact in the community.
‘Now is the right time to step down and let new ownership build on the strong foundations we have in place. ‘The owners have a compelling vision for Chelsea’s future, and I look forward to helping them achieve it in this new role alongside our incredible staff, players, coaches and supporters.’
Despite leaving his role as chairman, Buck will continue to support the club as a senior advisor going forward. In a statement of his own, Boehly thanked Buck for his work in the role.
He said: ‘Bruce has led Chelsea Football Club to the highest levels of international and domestic football, while also developing one of the most active social responsibility projects in sport. We thank Bruce for his service and his commitment to the Club.’
Buck, along with director Marina Granovskaia, played significant roles in Boehly’s takeover, which raised eyebrows as the two closest aides to Russian oligarch Abramovich. Their positions at the club were said to be uncertain due to Boehly’s takeover, but there has been no change as yet in terms of Granovskaia’s position at Stamford Bridge.
German publication Bild however reported that she could leave the club in August after one final transfer window with the club. Buck had been seen sitting alongside Boehly before the takeover was completed, at matches towards the end of last season.
During Buck’s time at the club, Chelsea solidified their status as one the world’s most successful clubs, winning 18 major trophies. Chelsea’s statement also wrote: ‘The Club (under Buck) also grew its commercial revenues significantly, established world class training facilities at Cobham, and developed one of the best youth academies in football.
‘In 2010, Buck, as Trustee and Chairman, helped establish The Chelsea FC Foundation, which supports a broad range of initiatives including increasing access to youth athletics, hosting education and employment programmes, and leading anti-discrimination campaigns.’
Chelsea were a club in turmoil off the pitch on the back of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.